The Campaign Spot

So Waterboarding Is Not a Crime, but Approving It Might Be One?

I strongly disagree with the idea of prosecuting members of the American government at any level for the actions they took to protect the country.

But Obama’s new position — that no CIA personnel will be prosecuted for their actions, but Bush administration officials might be, if Attorney General Eric Holder decides it is worthwhile — is incoherent.

Are we to take it that the Obama administration’s position is that waterboarding is not a crime, but ordering it to be done, or approving its being done, is?

Beyond that . . . are we witnessing the President of the United States insisting that the question of whether ordering these actions constitutes a crime is “above his pay grade”?

UPDATE: A Campaign Spot reader puts it even clearer: “Obama is saying there’s an open question as to whether Justice Department lawyers can be prosecuted for providing legal opinions. It’s time to resurrect that old meme about ‘criminalizing politics’.”

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